This Easy-to-pack Device Is My Best-kept Secret for Looking Fresh-faced After a Long Flight

It’s like getting a post-flight facial, works in minutes, and weighs less than a pound.

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Foreo Bear Mini App-Connected Microcurrent Facial Toning Device
Foreo Bear Mini App-Connected Microcurrent Facial Toning Device. Photo:

Foreo, Travel + Leisure / Dan Koday

As someone that’s prone to acne, my skin always takes a beating with the amount that I travel. Whether it’s soaking in recycled airplane air, getting too much sun exposure, or adjusting to changing time zones, it’s not uncommon that I find my complexion in need of a little pick-me-up when I’m on the road.

In the past, spending hundreds of dollars to get a facial was the only way to keep blemishes at bay. But recently, I've been able to mimic the same salon-level radiance and smoothness using the Foreo Bear Mini, a portable, easy-to-pack facial microcurrent and toning device that instantly refreshes my appearance after a flight.

The handheld gadget, which gets its name from its adorable bear-shaped body, uses microcurrent technology to emit skin-toning and firming T-sonic pulsations, which visibly contour, lift, and awaken the face. With time and consistent usage, this can also act as a means to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And, despite it being so high-tech, I’ve found that the Foreo Bear Mini is incredibly easy to use and could be seamlessly implemented into any existing skincare routine. 

Foreo Bear Mini App-Connected Microcurrent Facial Toning Device
Foreo Bear Mini App-Connected Microcurrent Facial Toning Device.

Amazon

To buy: amazon.com, $219

To use, I simply cleanse my skin, pat it dry, and apply the Foreo’s Micro Capsule Youth Preserve Serum, which is packed with antioxidant- and hydration-rich ingredients (though, any serum that gives your skin a bit of slip will do). After waiting a few moments for it to seep in, I then turn on the microcurrent device and gently sweep it across my skin in an upward motion. 

I generally use the Foreo Bear Mini on my forehead for 30 seconds, then my cheek areas for 15 seconds each, and along my jawline and neck for another 30 seconds or so. When I’m short on time, I do a shorter circuit that just concentrates on my forehead and cheeks (about one minute) and I still see noticeable results. 

As part of my routine, I then add a little rose water for hydration about a minute after I’ve turned the device off. My best results have been with Jurlique’s Activating Water Essence+, which — for my sensitive skin — offers it a more gentle but long-lasting hydration. If I’ve been on a really long flight and my skin is really dehydrated, I’ll then apply a thin layer of La Mer’s Soft Cream

The Foreo Bear Mini comes with a handy stand, which I use to travel with so I can stand it upright on even the tiniest of hotel sinks. The box also contains a USB charging cable, which makes it easy to juice up whether I’m traveling domestically or internationally. 

Foreo Bear Mini App-Connected Microcurrent Facial Toning Device
Foreo Bear Mini App-Connected Microcurrent Facial Toning Device.

Amazon

To buy: amazon.com, $219

At-home microcurrent device novices will be delighted to know that you can use the Foreo smartphone app for tutorials; it will guide you through your at-home facials with video tutorials that are between 1.5 to two minutes in length. The tutorials are very informative and offer tips throughout, and since it connects through Bluetooth to your phone, the Bear Mini conveniently knows when to take short pauses in between each step so you have time to move it around your face. But after some use, I’ve stopped following the tutorials and just simply turn the device on and use it as much as I want, targeting the areas where I feel that I need it the most, like my forehead, jaw line, cheeks, and around those pesky crow’s feet.

Worth noting: Foreo claims that the anti-shock system scans your skin’s resistance and adjusts microcurrent intensity for maximum safety and comfort, and while it does a pretty good job of this, I’ve encountered occasional and very quick zaps as I glide the device across my face, usually on my cheek areas. It’s not painful though, and the more you use the device, the less you even notice or feel it happening. 

When it comes to results, I’ve consistently found myself happily surprised and pleased. My skin looks great immediately after using Foreo’s Bear Mini — and it usually looks even better than it did before I got on my flight, despite how much hydration I give my skin. I recently used it on a brutal travel day, when I flew on an overnight flight to Paris, followed by a two-hour train ride to Bordeaux. After arriving at my lodging, InterContinental Bordeaux - Le Grand Hotel, I wanted my skin to look as polished as the hotel’s grand lobby. Take a peek at the side-by-side results. 

Foreo Bear Mini App-Connected Microcurrent Facial Toning Device
Foreo Bear Mini App-Connected Microcurrent Facial Toning Device.

Travel + Leisure / Dan Koday

You might also be familiar with Foreo’s popular Bear device, a larger version of Bear Mini which is a favorite of beauty lovers since it covers a larger surface area of the face. I’ve used both and prefer the Mini version as it gets closer to areas of my skin that are harder to reach with the full-sized Bear device, like under my eyes and underneath my jawline. With the Bear Mini, I feel as if I’m getting a really great lifting and toning facial in mere minutes, and it’s become my number one go-to anytime I get off a long flight (or even a short one) to refresh my skin. 

At home, I’ve even gotten in the habit of using it about every three days just to give my skin a boost and have that elusive and hard-to-get healthy glow. Amazon shoppers share my sentiment, with one reviewer reporting, “Only used for a week, my skin looks firm and rejuvenate[d].” Another customer confirmed my perception of tingling while using it, but it is not painful. “I did feel a slight zap a bit here and there but nothing that hurts. I added more serum while gliding the device and do not feel zaps any longer,” they noted. And it appears to be a must-have for other travelers, with one mother sharing that she bought it for her “flight attendant” daughter who “loves it.” 

As a bonus, the Foreo Bear Mini is available at Amazon for $219, which includes free two-day shipping for Prime Members and hassle-free returns. While it’s equally adored by both men and women, as a guy, I’d be remiss not to mention that it only comes in a lavender purple and pearl pink color right now. But, this one feature is worth compromising on for brighter, glowing skin, and the Foreo Bear Mini will continue to be a mainstay in my skincare routine at home and during my travels.

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